We live in Cumbria in the north of England just a few miles from the Scottish border in a small village called Hallbankgate. It is a wild and windy place and very beautiful in a harsh and bleak sort of way! We have lived there for 30 years and have two sons and now four grandchildren.
We have always enjoyed travelling and discovering new places, usually by foot or bicycle but coming home has always given us the greatest pleasure!
We are both in our 60’s and have a sense of time marching on so we have stopped doing what we normally do which is Pete making boxes and Chris running a B&B.
Our dear friend and wordsmith Les Higgins has written a poem for us which is a great honour and we would like to share it with you.
SLOW BIKE TO CHINA
Beyond the brightly coloured maps
Are darker spaces, unmarked gaps,
And unimaginable chance.
The road unwinds; towns, cities stream
Across the threshold of your dream
Below the wheels increasing dance.
Samarquand, Kashi, Osh, Tashkent
The road where Marco Polo went
Whose still exotic names entrance.
For strangers in these antique lands
Talk shrinks to grins and waving hands,
The wry apologetic glance.
You speak the universal tongue
Of smiles and nods, the human song.
No-one will look at you askance.
The world is waiting: time to go.
But there are some things you should know.
We hope all roads will be downhill
And at your backs the winds will blow.